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Astronomers: ‘Sun’s output may decline significantly inducing another Little Ice Age on Earth’

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Marc Morano
Climate Depot
Monday, August 17, 2009

[Below is a guest essay by Statistician Dr. Richard Mackey, who authored a 2007 peer-reviewed study which found that the solar system regulates the earth's climate. The paper was published August 17, 2007 in the Journal of Coastal Research - Excerpt: "According to the findings reviewed in this paper, the variable output of the sun, the sun's gravitational relationship between the earth (and the moon) and earth's variable orbital relationship with the sun, regulate the earth's climate. The processes by which the sun affects the earth show periodicities on many time scales; each process is stochastic and immensely complex." Dr. Mackey is featured on page 228 of U.S. Senate Report of 700 Dissenting Scientists.]

American Geophysical Union article argues another Maunder Minimum (low Solar activity) likely – Climate Depot Guest Article By Statistician Dr. Richard Mackey

Key Excerpts: Astronomers Dr. William Livingston and Dr. Matthew Penn and a large number of solar physicists (see, for example, the home page of the grandfather of modern solar physics, Professor Emeritus Cornelius de Jager,) would say that now the likelihood of the Earth being seized by Maunder Minimum is now greater than the Earth being seized by a period of global warming. [...] Their central finding is that regardless of the relation to the sunspot cycles, magnetic intensity in sunspots is decreasing and if this continues in the same way as it has for the last 15 years, the Sun will be devoid of sunspots in five years time: overall the Sun’s energetic output will decline significantly inducing another Little Ice Age on the Earth. [...]  They would answer Sir John’s question by saying: “Yes, the Maunder Minimum will arrive in time to save the planet from the utterly foolish global carbon tax.”

 

Dr. Mackey’s Full Article:

Astronomer Emeritus Dr. William Livingston and Associate Astronomer Dr Matthew Penn have for many years been measuring the magnetic field strength of the Sun’s magnetic fields. See for example: here. WattsUpWithThat (WUWT) in June 2009 by them concluding that, broadly speaking, over the last 15 years the magnetic field strengths of sunspots were decreasing with time independently of the sunspot cycle. A simple linear extrapolation of the magnetic data collected by their special observatory (the McMath-Pierce telescope (see here.) published a report) suggests that sunspots might largely vanish in five years time. In addition, other scientists report that the solar wind (a large proportion of the Sun’s output of matter in the plasma form) is in a lower energy state than found since space measurements began nearly 40 years ago.

In answer to the question:

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Why is a lack of sunspot activity interesting?

Astronomers Livingston and Penn’s Respond in the July 28, 2009 publication EOS of the American Geophysical Union: “During a period from 1645 to 1715 the Sun entered an extended period of low activity known as the Maunder Minimum. For a time equivalent to several sunspot cycles the Sun displayed few sunspots. Models of the Sun’s irradiance suggest that the solar energy input to the Earth decreased during that epoch, and that this lull in solar activity may explain the low temperatures recorded in Europe during the Little Ice Age.”

Livingston and Penn wrote a July 28, 2009 very well written feature length article feature article appearing in EOS, the professional publication of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The article is entitled, “Are Sunspots Different During This Sunspot Minimum?” EOS is a broadsheet sent every week to AGU members. It always has one feature article, but mainly lists job advertisements and notices about conferences, seminars and the like of interest to AGU members and news of members’ achievements. The feature articles are sometimes about climate change, which are generally supportive of the IPCC dogma.

In their EOS article, Livingston and Penn answer yes to the question: “Are Sunspots Different During This Sunspot Minimum?”

Their central finding is that regardless of the relation to the sunspot cycles, magnetic intensity in sunspots is decreasing and if this continues in the same way as it has for the last 15 years, the Sun will be devoid of sunspots in five years time: overall the Sun’s energetic output will decline significantly inducing another Little Ice Age on the Earth.

In a press release the National Solar Observatory reported:dated June 17, 2009

Drs. Rachel Howe and Frank Hill, both of the NSO, used long-term observations from the NSO’s Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) facility to detect and track an east-to-west jet stream, known as the “torsional oscillation”, at depths of ~1,000 to 7,000 km below the surface of the Sun. The Sun generates new jet streams near its poles every 11 years; the streams migrate slowly, over a period of 17 years, to the equator, and are associated with the production of sunspots once they reach a critical latitude of 22 degrees.

Astronomers: Suns output may decline significantly inducing another Little Ice Age on Earth  290509banner

Howe and Hill found that the stream associated with the new solar cycle has moved sluggishly, taking three years to cover a 10 degree range in latitude compared to two years for the last solar cycle, but has now reached the critical latitude. The current solar minimum has become so long and deep, some scientists have speculated the Sun might enter a long period with no sunspot activity at all. The new result both shows that the Sun’s internal magnetic dynamo continues to operate, and heralds the beginning of a new cycle of solar activity.

“It is exciting to see”, said Dr. Hill, “that just as this sluggish stream reaches the usual active latitude of 22 degrees, a year late, we finally begin to see new groups of sunspots emerging at the new active latitude.” Since the current minimum is now one year longer than usual, Howe and Hill conclude that the extended solar minimum phase may have resulted from the slower migration of the flow.

GONG and its sister instrument SOHO/MDI measure sound waves on the surface of the Sun. Scientists can then use the sound waves to probe structures deep in the interior of the star, in a process analogous to a sonogram in a medical office. “Using the global sound wave inversions, we have been able to reveal the intimate connection between subtle changes in the Sun’s interior and the sunspot cycle on its surface,” said Hill.

“This is an important piece of the solar activity puzzle,” said Dr. Dean Pesnell, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “It shows how flows inside the Sun are related to the creation of solar activity and how the timing of the solar cycle might be produced. None of the forecasting research groups predicted the current long extended delay in the new cycle. There is a lot more to learn in order to understand how the Sun creates magnetic fields.”

Astronomers Livingston and Penn conclude their EOS article with these comments:

“Whether this [decline] is an omen of long-term sunspot decline, analogous to the Maunder Minimum, remains to be seen. Other indications of the solar activity cycle suggest that sunspots must return in earnest next year.

Because other indications point to the Sun experiencing an unusual period of minimum solar activity, it is critically important to measure the Sun’s magnetic activity during this unique time.”

‘Professional societies returning to practice of true scientific debate’

Another interesting aspect of Livingston and Penn’s EOS article is that the AGU published it in its professional publication. This suggests to me that the professional societies are returning to practice of true scientific debate that has been suppressed for so long.

It is worth recalling the feature article “Natural antidote to global warming” written by Sir John Maddox, then the editor of Nature and published in Nature on 21 September 1995.

Sir John referred to the extensive research published up to 1995 indicating the Sun-climate relationship and that the Sun was likely to enter into a Maunder Minimum inducing state sometime during the first few decades of the new millennium.

Sir John, an enthusiastic apostle of the IPCC dogma, asked:

“There remains the question of whether the Maunder Minimum will arrive in time to avoid a global carbon tax?”

He answered that on the basis of his reading of the evidence published up till then there was only a small chance. However, he concluded by noting that it is a real possibility and that the moral of his commentary was “a better understanding of the Sun might now have practical value.”

Livingston and Penn and a large number of solar physicists (see, for example, the home page of the grandfather of modern solar physics, Professor Emeritus Cornelius de Jager,) would say that now the likelihood of the Earth being seized by Maunder Minimum is now greater than the Earth being seized by a period of global warming.

They would answer Sir John’s question by saying: “Yes, the Maunder Minimum will arrive in time to save the planet from the utterly foolish global carbon tax.”

This article was posted: Monday, August 17, 2009 at 3:43 am





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